Friday, Dec. 2, 2011 | 6:30 p.m.
- ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ 14 finale weigh-in: Finalists ready; Bisping cusses at fans
- Highly touted bantamweights collide at ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ 14 finale
- Michael Bisping again in starring role as ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ draws to a close
- ‘The Ultimate Fighter’: Meet this season’s cast of TUF competitors
- Coaches selected for next season of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’
- All MMA/boxing coverage
Despite what they may say about each other, both “The Ultimate Fighter” 14 finale main event fighters are well rounded mixed martial artists.
Michael Bisping’s greatest strength is his stand-up game, but he can wrestle too as evidenced by the way he’s thwarted takedown attempts in the majority of his professional bouts.
His opponent and rival, Jason “Mayhem” Miller, is mostly regarded as a grappler. But Miller’s striking has also come along through 10 years in mixed martial arts with six knockout victories.
“I’m going to go out and mix it up,” Bisping said. “I’m going to get in his face. I’m going to take him down, I’m going to pound him out. And, the fact of the matter is, he can’t do (expletive) about it.”
Bisping (21-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC) promising to take down Miller (24-7 MMA, 0-1 UFC) might sound surprising, as conventional wisdom would have it the other way around.
That’s the beauty of this matchup. Although Bisping is a moderate favorite at -190 (risking $1.90 to win $1) with Miller coming back at +160 (risking $1 to win $1.60), no result of the five-round fight appears out of the realm of possibilities.
“He’s good at jabbing and moving away, throwing a one-two and moving away,” Miller said of Bisping. “I know that about him and I have to be aware of that, but I see there’s no way he can do that for five rounds and stay away from me the whole time.”
Pick: Bisping by decision
Check below for betting odds and picks on the rest of the fights at “The Ultimate Fighter” 14 finale, which stars at 2:15 p.m. Saturday at The Pearl at the Palms.
”The Ultimate Fighter” Featherweight Championship Bout: Diego Brandao (13-7 MMA, 3-0 TUF) vs. Dennis Bermudez (7-2 MMA, 3-0 TUF)
Line: Brandao -350, Bermudez +260
Matchup: Brandao’s record fails to do his talents justice. He hasn’t lost since moving to Albuquerque, N.M., to train with Greg Jackson. Brandao blitzed through everyone on “TUF”, knocking out each of his three opponents. While Brandao is a striker, Bermudez is a wrestler. The New York native will look to bring Brandao to the floor.
Pick: Brandao by knockout
”The Ultimate Fighter” Bantamweight Championship Bout: T.J. Dillashaw (4-0 MMA, 3-0 TUF) vs. John Dodson (11-5 MMA, 3-0 TUF)
Line: Dillashaw -240, Dodson +180
Matchup: These fighters come from two of the most well known mixed martial arts camps in the country. Dillashaw trains with Urijah Faber at Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, Calif., while Dodson is teammates with Brandao in Albuquerque at Greg Jackson’s gym. Dillashaw has a size and reach advantage that Dodson will have to negotiate.
Pick: Dodson by TKO
Lightweight Bout: Tony Ferguson (12-2 MMA, 2-0 UFC) vs. Yves Edwards (41-17-1 MMA, 9-5 UFC)
Line: Ferguson -300, Edwards +240
Matchup: “The Ultimate Fighter” 13 champion Ferguson gets to return to the venue where he made a name for himself six months ago. He’s now stopped eight straight opponents with strikes, but Edwards is by far his most experienced opponent. Edwards started fighting professionally 14 years ago.
Pick: Ferguson by knockout
Bantamweight Bout: Louis Gaudinot (5-1 MMA, 1-1 TUF) vs. Johnny Bedford (17-9-1 MMA, 2-1 TUF)
Line: Gaudinot +190, Bedford -240
Matchup: Bisping made Gaudinot the first overall pick on this season of “TUF”, so that’s a testament to his talent. The New Jersey native’s hurdle is his size. He’s a natural 125-pound fighter competing 10 pounds heavier. Bedford, from Texas, is big for a bantamweight and nearly reached the finals before Dodson caught him in the semifinals.
Pick: Bedford by decision
Featherweight Bout: Marcus Brimage (3-1 MMA, 1-1 TUF) vs. Stephen Bass (10-0 MMA, 1-1 TUF)
Line: Brimage +125, Bass -155
Matchup: These two have likely crossed paths as they both consider themselves Southern boys and have appeared in various regional Southeastern promotions. Brimage is originally from Alabama. Bass hails from Georgia. They both are primarily stand-up fighters.
Pick: Bass by decision
Bantamweight Bout: Dustin Pague (9-4 MMA, 2-1 TUF) vs. John Albert (6-1 MMA, 1-1 TUF)
Line: Pague -290, Albert +230
Matchup: Pague left a positive impression on his “TUF” coach, Miller, who raved about his kickboxing on the show. Albert was on Bisping’s team and showed more of his ground skills on the show before Dodson took him out in the quarterfinals.
Pick: Pague by decision
Bantamweight Bout: Roland Delorme (6-1 MMA, 1-1 TUF) vs. Josh Ferguson (7-3 MMA, 1-1 TUF)
Line: Delorme EVEN, Ferguson -130
Matchup: Ferguson is another natural flyweight who fought above his weight class to appear on “TUF”. He’s got knockout power, but it can be negated by solid wrestling as evidenced by the way Bedford eliminated him with a decision in the second round. Delmore is a submission specialist from Winnipeg, Canada, who also met his exit in the second round on this season of “TUF”.
Pick: Delorme by submission
Featherweight Bout: Steven Siler (18-9 MMA, 1-1 TUF) vs. Josh Clopton (6-0-1 MMA, 0-1 TUF)
Line: Siler -170, Clopton +140
Matchup: This year’s resident “TUF” bad boy, Akira Corassani, was scheduled to fight Siler in this one. But an injury forced him out and gave the opportunity to Clopton, who lost a decision in the elimination round to Pague. Siler’s ouster came a round later as he was Brandao’s second knockout victim.
Pick: Siler by submission
Featherweight Bout: Bryan Caraway (15-5 MMA, 2-1 TUF) vs. Dustin Neace (22-17-1 MMA, 1-1 TUF)
Line: Caraway -390, Neace +300
Matchup: Caraway, a WEC veteran, was the most experienced fighter on the reality show this season. He reached the semifinals. Neace could argue he should have been in the semifinals as it looked like Akira Corassani tapped out to one of his submissions in the quarterfinals. But the referee didn’t stop the fight and Neace went on to lose a majority decision.
Pick: Caraway by decision